11/30/2017 3:56PM

John Heims to take over as Monmouth racing secretary

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John Heims, the director of media relations at Monmouth Park, will serve as the racing secretary for the track next year, replacing Mike Anifantis, a top official of the track said on Thursday.

Heims, who has been employed at Monmouth for 20 years, will be assisted by Mike Dempsey, who is being brought back to the track as a consultant two years after retiring as Monmouth’s director of racing, according to Dennis Drazin, who was recently named chairman and chief executive of the track. Dempsey, who worked at Monmouth for 36 years, will serve in a consulting role as Heims settles into the position, Drazin said.

The decision comes in the wake of the announcement earlier this year of the retirement of Robert Kulina, who was Monmouth’s general manager for 25 years, following 15 years as the track’s racing secretary. Kulina is set to retire at the end of the year.

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The management changes were first reported by the Asbury Park Press.

Drazin said that the track and Anifantis reached a “mutual agreement” for Anifantis to be replaced. Anifantis had been the racing secretary for the past two years.

Heims will act as racing secretary for both Monmouth’s 52-day meet next year and for six dates of Thoroughbred racing scheduled for the Meadowlands in September. He will also continue to serve as the track’s director of media relations, but Monmouth is likely to hire an assistant for the position before the meet starts next year, Drazin said.

Monmouth is operated by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association through a lease with the state, which owns the property.